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BTD Forums  /  Journal Club and Literature Review  /  Waist to Height Ratio better than BMI
Posted by: Chloe, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 7:40pm
Really interesting article.  A better predictor for diabetes and heart disease is considered to
be measured more effectively by waist to heigh ratio rather than BMI.

"Keeping your waist circumference to less than half your height can help increase life expectancy for every person in the world,"

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/245328.php
Posted by: Lola, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 9:17pm; Reply: 1
:)
Posted by: shoulderblade, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 9:20pm; Reply: 2
Dr. D staes in the Genotype Diet (pg. 49) that waist to hip ratio is a more accurate measure of overall health and heart attack risk than BMI.

An obious flaw in BMI is that very muscular person is goingn to register a high BMI on the basis of muscle tissue being more dense than fat.
Posted by: Captain_Janeway, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 10:59pm; Reply: 3
I think their is also a flaw in the waist to hip ratio as well as the BMI. My WHR is .8125 to be exact...slightly high for a female. The waist to height ratio makes much more sense because it is a ratio of horizontal girth to vertical height. If you are as wide as you are long then you are obviously too heavy where it matters most in terms of health.

My WHtR is .47 less than half of my height and my lipid profile and blood sugar numbers could not be better.  :)

OTOH my WHR and WHtR are suggestive of a ruler body type for a woman. Pop culture often refers to this body type as a thin apple shape. ::) but it really looks more like a bananna or a chili pepper IMO. :D
Posted by: Chloe, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 11:57pm; Reply: 4
Here's how to calculate a BMI..

http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

It would be interesting to compare both measurements.
Posted by: shoulderblade, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 12:13am; Reply: 5
Quoted from Chloe
Here's how to calculate a BMI..

http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

It would be interesting to compare both measurements.


OK. My problem here is that 2 persons of the same height and sex can achieve the same BMI even though one is thin but muscular where as the other is mildly overweight.

The only solution to this that I can see is to track various options (i.e. BMI, waist to height ratio, waist to hip ratio) against health outcomes over a period of time.

None of these measuring systems are what you could call difficult but only some sort of 'comparison race' will determine which is more accurate. Underlying is the assumption that 'excess weight is trouble' but how do you measure it?

Posted by: Chloe, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 12:32am; Reply: 6
There are calipers that are used to measure fat but not sure how that factors into a waist measurement.  It's clearly a problem to have a large waist...There are also ways to weigh a person
under water and measure their fat percentage.  Fat floats...so muscle weight would be taken into
account and give an accurate reading of how much fat to lean.

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/fitnessevalandassessment/g/UnderwaterWeigh.htm
Posted by: shoulderblade, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 1:03am; Reply: 7
Chloe'

I am familiar with the callipers method and I think the weight in water sounds good as well. Both can resolve the fat/muscle issue.

Thing here as well is just how overweight (or underweight) does anyone have to be before it makes any measurable difference? I would think that either waist/hip or waist/height would be an improvement over BMI simply because you are assessing the part of the body than acquires fat first relative to the rest of the body. For practical purposes I think either of these 'easy tests' would do.

That is there may be a margin of error but it is no more than the margin that separates normal weight from problem weight.
Posted by: 18545 (Guest), Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 1:05am; Reply: 8
So since I'm tall I can have a huge waist and be healthy?  Cool.  More chocolate and ice cream!  ;)
Posted by: shoulderblade, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 1:09am; Reply: 9
Quoted from 18545
So since I'm tall I can have a huge waist and be healthy?  Cool.  More chocolate and ice cream!  ;)


Hmmm. Not sure. Ask Chloe, she brought it up.  ;D

Posted by: Captain_Janeway, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 1:35am; Reply: 10
Quoted from 18545
So since I'm tall I can have a huge waist and be healthy?  Cool.  More chocolate and ice cream!  ;)


If your oblique muscles are well toned they can be thick. So you could have a waist measurement that is somewhat large but not necessarily all fat weight.
Posted by: Chloe, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 1:45am; Reply: 11
Everyone into the pool....I think it's the only really precise way to measure body fat accurately.

I think you would know if your middle is fat or muscular....whether you have love handles or
a big rolling belly.  And whether you've exercised to increase muscle mass.  And of course if
you're eating right.

Belly fat is the biggest problem....The omentum....layers of fat that you know isn't muscle.  Fat
would hang...or be flabby...Muscle is solid and you can't pinch very much of it.

I'm not an expert....I just know the scale is not a good indicator of fat loss...and obviously other ways of measuring body fat has variables...

http://www.realage.com/diet-weight-loss/bad-body-fat-omentum-definition-causes-prevention

Some of these photos of the omentum is not for sissies.
http://www.google.com/search?q=omentum&hl=en&sa=G&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=P3rFT9StNuja6gH8qIDQBg&ved=0CHoQsAQ&biw=1857&bih=1021
Posted by: Spring, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 2:47am; Reply: 12
Quoted from 18545
So since I'm tall I can have a huge waist and be healthy?  Cool.  More chocolate and ice cream!  ;)


Hilarious!!  :D Too funny!!!
Posted by: marjorie, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 3:23am; Reply: 13
THis is another interesting concept and might be a better tool for us to focus on health and not so much "weight".

Does it matter when you measure? I think I had too much at dinner so I will wait and measure in the am after the gym.

according to a website I found, I am 5'3-4 and ideal waist would be 25-26. I dont think I am that small, but we will see. If not, I will try not to stress about it.
Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 12:32pm; Reply: 14
The best time to measure/and or weigh, is the same time every time, and in my experience, that time is first thing in the morning before eating/drinking.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 4:26pm; Reply: 15
It's still a rough estimate, and there's still  going to be a range of "normal" percentages. Some women are just "skinnier" than others, even at healthy weights. Women who've given birth may have larger bellies because the muscles are stretched out- whether or not they're carrying extra fat there too. This is especially true for women who've had multiple pregnancies and/or surgical births.

It also goes without saying that this isnt' accurate during pregnancy or in the immediate post-partum period, but I think even conventional doctors know that much. ;)
Posted by: marjorie, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 4:35pm; Reply: 16
Quoted from ruthiegirl
It's still a rough estimate, and there's still  going to be a range of "normal" percentages. Some women are just "skinnier" than others, even at healthy weights. Women who've given birth may have larger bellies because the muscles are stretched out- whether or not they're carrying extra fat there too. This is especially true for women who've had multiple pregnancies and/or surgical births.

It also goes without saying that this isnt' accurate during pregnancy or in the immediate post-partum period, but I think even conventional doctors know that much. ;)


So, I understand that this is a rough estimate, however, I am 27.5-28 this am at 5'3 almost 5'4. I think losing 2 inches would make me feel more confident about my body and health.

do you think if I lower my portions or do not eat as often, this would help to lose inches?
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 4:37pm; Reply: 17
You need to eat enough food or weight loss will stall. Be careful not to reduce your portions too much. Exercise is a key to fat loss for most O's, and abdominal exercises will target the muscles in that area, making your waist smaller. Be careful with the choice of ab exercises, as it's possible to damage muscles (especially if they're already weak) and make your belly stick out even more (and cause backaches) if you're not careful.
Posted by: marjorie, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 4:55pm; Reply: 18
Quoted from ruthiegirl
You need to eat enough food or weight loss will stall. Be careful not to reduce your portions too much. Exercise is a key to fat loss for most O's, and abdominal exercises will target the muscles in that area, making your waist smaller. Be careful with the choice of ab exercises, as it's possible to damage muscles (especially if they're already weak) and make your belly stick out even more (and cause backaches) if you're not careful.


Got it, thanks! I think this was happening regarding the exercises I was doing in the past.

Do you think 27-28 is unhealthy for my size?
Posted by: Andrea AWsec, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 4:59pm; Reply: 19
http://www.biodyncorp.com/product/450/450.html

Here is what Dr. D uses in his office. Bioimpedance monitor with something called phase angle. SWAMI pro has fields to input the data.


Anyone never by? I have this machine happy to run it on you.
Posted by: Lola, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 5:27pm; Reply: 20
ty for running mine!!!! :K)
Posted by: marjorie, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 5:34pm; Reply: 21
Quoted from Andrea AWsec
http://www.biodyncorp.com/product/450/450.html

Here is what Dr. D uses in his office. Bioimpedance monitor with something called phase angle. SWAMI pro has fields to input the data.


Anyone never by? I have this machine happy to run it on you.


How can you do this? I would love to have you run mine?
Posted by: Captain_Janeway, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 7:44pm; Reply: 22
Quoted from marjorie


Got it, thanks! I think this was happening regarding the exercises I was doing in the past.

Do you think 27-28 is unhealthy for my size?


According to waist to height ratio a waist measurement of 27/63=.43
28/63=.44

Both of these are good because your waist is less than half your height. If you are 5'4 then these numbers are even less. Body fat percentage is a better measure of a healthy weight than BMI.

If I remember correctly a body fat percentage of 20-28% is normal for a woman.
.
Posted by: Chloe, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 7:52pm; Reply: 23
Quoted from Captain_Janeway


If I remember correctly a body fat percentage of 20-28% is normal for a woman.
.


BMI
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater


Posted by: marjorie, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 9:50pm; Reply: 24
ok thanks everyone. Looks like I am in the healthy range, however, it would be good to lose just 2 inches on the waist:)
Posted by: Andrea AWsec, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 10:43pm; Reply: 25
Quoted from marjorie


How can you do this? I would love to have you run mine?



You are too far away-- but if you come to the conference I will bring my machine and do it for you.

I bought the machine cause I use the SWAMI pro  ;)
Posted by: marjorie, Thursday, May 31, 2012, 3:22am; Reply: 26
Quoted from Andrea AWsec



You are too far away-- but if you come to the conference I will bring my machine and do it for you.

I bought the machine cause I use the SWAMI pro  ;)


Shoot! Well, I doubt I can make it to the conference-- lots going on with school and moving. Thank you for the offer, though:)
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